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Comparative Metagenomic and Metatranscriptomic Analyses Reveal the Functional Species and Metabolic Characteristics of an Enriched Denitratation Community

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journal contribution
posted on 29.10.2020, 16:20 by Zhengzhe Zhang, Yu Zhang, Yinguang Chen
Nitrite supply for mainstream anammox via denitratation has attracted increasing attention. The functional species responsible for denitratation and their metabolic characteristics were unravelled in this study. A highly stable denitratation community was enriched from activated sludge by combined control of C/N and pH. Nitrite accumulation and nitrate removal efficiencies were both higher than 80% during long-term operation (>100 d). The genotypic complete denitrifier Thauera aminoaromatica MZ1T was identified to be mainly responsible for acetate consumption, polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) accumulation, and nitrate reduction. The presence of nitrate restricted the transcription and electron allocation of downstream denitrifying enzymes due to low expression of their electron transport modules (cytochrome bc1 and cytochrome c). Metabolic reconstruction of this strain indicated that the reducing power generated via the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle was mainly provided for PHB synthesis and nitrate reduction in the exogenous feast phase. After the depletion of acetate, PHB was degraded and then entered the TCA cycle, providing reducing power for nitrate reduction. This allocation strategy of reducing power with priority given to carbon storage instead of nitrite reduction might favor their survival in oligotrophic and weak alkaline habitats. These results updated our understanding of the causes underlying nitrite accumulation and its physiological benefits.